Vaccine Tracker: India is close to inoculating 10 million healthcare and frontline health workers with either of the two available vaccines.
1. Common Misinformation:
- Conspiracy theory website Infowars claimed on February 14, 2021, that India had banned the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine due to safety concerns. India has not banned the Pfizer vaccine. However, it has turned down its request for an emergency use authorization "at this stage." Pfizer has said it will re-submit its approval request with additional information when it becomes available in the near future.
- There were reports claiming that South Africa will be returning 1 million AstraZeneca vaccines back to Serum Institute of India on the pretext that the vaccines have expired. However, it was later clarified by South Africa’s Health Minister Dr. Zwel Mkhize confirming that South Africa has not returned AstraZeneca vaccines to India and that the expiry date of April was established through their quality control processes – a wrong impression was created that the vaccines have expired – this is simply not true, he clarified
2. Over performing/common trends in the last week:
- CrowdTangle Insights from the previous week- post related to the India’s vaccine diplomacy wins friends in Caribbean, draws global praise has overperformed by 29.5 times
- The Tamil Nadu news on the alleged death of a 3-month old baby boy owing to vaccination has overperformed by 70.02 times. However, there has been no evidence yet to prove/link it to vaccination.
- The Mint post on Azim Premji hailing India’s vaccination and that India can vaccinate 50 cr people in 60 days if it engages with private sector has overperformed by 14.62 times
3. On-ground Surveys on Vaccine Hesitancy
- A global survey published in Nature looked at the potential acceptance of COVID vaccines in 19 countries. The hesitancy of some level was recorded across all age groups. The survey also showed a higher hesitancy if the vaccine was mandated by the responders’ employers
- Since July 2020, MIT has been running a survey called COVID-19 Beliefs, Behaviors & Norms Survey with over 2 million respondents in collaboration with Facebook. In their survey, they have been observing that the fraction of people who say they would take a vaccine has been going down (see attached plot) from 77% in July 2020 to 68% in January 2021. In the Indian context, the vaccine hesitancy has increased to 13.60% in January 2021 from 9.05% in July 2020; an increase of 4.55 percentage points. The size of the respondents from India is 100,000